The Haul Truck That Started It All: The Cat® 769

September 23, 2022

At Caterpillar, we seek to understand our customers’ needs and respond with solutions that fit. It’s how we do business and why we’ve been an industry leader for nearly 100 years. 

Take our entry into the haul truck market 60 years ago. We introduced our first true off-highway, rear dump truck, the Cat® 769, In 1962. The 35-ton capacity truck, aimed at quarry and construction sectors, wasn’t the first rigid dump truck (RDT) on the market. In fact, competitors had been manufacturing RDTs for off-highway use nearly 30 years earlier. 

But it didn’t take us long to catch up.

Our 769 was developed in the late 1950s, undergoing four pilot design stages prior to commercial production, which began in January 1963. The first machine was shipped on May 28, 1963. The new Caterpillar machine won head-to-head battles with the competition with higher performance, including a faster return, better weight-to-horse-power ratio, and lower cost per ton. And the 769 was soon the industry’s darling in the off-highway haul truck category – known for unmatched dependability backed by the Cat dealer network.  

In the Beginning 

The first machines were powered by Cat D343 diesel engines with 375 flywheel-horsepower and featured a revolutionary pneumatic-oil suspension system. Compressed air was used to dissipate impact on the truck’s frame, which extended the life of the frame. In addition, the trucks had a much smoother ride than other trucks in their class.

Always seeking to make our products better, engineers worked to improve the 769, and by 1964, the 769’s power was increased to 400 flywheel-horsepower. In late 1966, it was upgraded again to 415 flywheel-horsepower with the introduction of the 769B, featuring a V-bottom dump-box to reduce rear-end spillage

Lasting Legacy 

The 769 and 769B were the first of our mechanical drive haulers and set the stage for our entire line of Caterpillar off-road haul trucks that now dominate the market. 

Caterpillar Vice President of Load and Haul John Tuntland says, “Today’s Cat 770G stays true to the legacy of the original 769, a revolutionary off-road truck in its day. It’s a rugged workhorse made for the rigors of quarry mining. The 770G is popular among even the most difficult applications.”


The first Caterpillar 769 Off-Highway Truck sold to a customer on the line at the Decatur facility, May 1963.


Working view of a Cat® 769C Off-Highway Truck, circa 1979.

Caterpillar 769 Off-Highway Truck
Caterpillar 769 Off-Highway Truck


Customer Jack Gillen circa 1965.

Photo of a man with a hat and jacket

A Satisfied Customer 

In 1963, Jack Gillen owned a mining and construction company and was working on a project in Carbondale, Pennsylvania. He had previously worked with several different makes of off-highway trucks and evaluated them under a wide range of conditions. 

Jack arranged for a performance comparison between the Cat 769 and a competitor 30-ton off-highway truck, and the results were impressive: The 769 hauled 54 more tons per hour and had a 29.5% production advantage.

Based on the test, Jack ordered six new Cat machines and said, “No truck I’ve seen comes near the Cat 769.”

Two years later, after working two 7-hour shifts per day, six days a week, Jack never looked back. 

“On the haul, the 769’s superiority really shows up … They’re still performing like new. Their reliability has been outstanding. They’ve racked up over 32,000 hours and given us better than 95% availability. No other truck we’ve used has come close to that. The 769 spots easier, loads faster, and dumps quicker.”

Helping enable customer success with products and solutions and unmatched customer support? Some things never change.